Wakefield will try to wrangle Rangers

Wakefield will try to wrangle Rangers

From Curt Schilling's heat to Tim Wakefield's knuckleball. The Red Sox hope the latter will be enough to fluster the Rangers just as much on Tuesday as Schilling did in Monday's Opening Day victory.

The ageless Wakefield, just four months shy of his 40th birthday, kicks off season No. 12 in a Boston uniform.

If last year was any indication, Wakefield (16 wins, 225 1/3 innings) still has plenty left in his tank. Red Sox manager Terry Francona likes the idea of Wakefield's soft serves being stuck between the high-octane gas of Schilling and Josh Beckett.

But strategy isn't the only reason Wakefield is the second pitcher out of the chute for Boston.

"I think Wake deserved to pitch second," said Francona. "He won 16 games, he's been an anchor on this staff. At the same time, I saw no drawback to splitting them up and having Beckett pitch third."

The Rangers counter with Vicente Padilla, who is making his debut in the American League this season. The Red Sox, after scoring seven runs in the opener, will try to make the adjustment as difficult as possible for the right-hander.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (16-12, 4.15 ERA in 2005)
The veteran knuckleballer enters his 12th season in a Boston uniform. Last season was one of his best, as he led the team in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts.

TEX: RHP Vicente Padilla (9-12, 4.71 ERA in 2005)
Padilla gets his introduction to life in the American League by facing one of the most potent offenses in the game. In his career, Padilla is 5-6 with a 5.48 ERA against AL competition.

Player to watch
Superstar slugger David Ortiz will try to maintain his hot bat after ripping three hits, including a two-run homer, on Monday.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WEEI-850 AM

Up next
• Wednesday: Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 15-8, 3.38 ERA in 2005) at Rangers (Kameron Loe, 9-6, 3.42 ERA), 8:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Red Sox (Matt Clement, 13-6, 4.57 ERA in 2005) at Orioles (Daniel Cabrera, 10-13, 4.52 ERA), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Red Sox (Curt Schilling, 1-0, 2.57 ERA) at Orioles (Bruce Chen, 13-10, 3.83 ERA in 2005), 4:35 p.m. ET

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.